2014 to 2015 is when we see it going truly hybrid, that constant connection between the public service provider and the private cloud. If you think about the way the Internet started, you have the public Internet and recognised it's a great way to browse, view and consume content. Then they built Intranets, where things are more secure and more controlled.
That was the first half of the decade, how that rolled out, now we just have 'the net'. Now it's just the case of a different URL which determines whether we are viewing content that is public or private. And we expect the cloud to take that same position in the enterprise across the next five years.
What kind of businesses will benefit most from adoption of the cloud?
Small and medium businesses and startups, you used to get $10 million worth of funding and spend $7 million of that on hardware infrastructure so you could have a website. Mail and file servers. Today, startups that get 10 million are spending a few hundred thousand on fitting everyone with laptops and connecting them to Amazon or public cloud services. And that continues to be the case.
Another group that stands to gain is anyone that is looking at driving better optimisation around their virtualisation environment. Virtualisation was great, it took a big server and broke it into a chunk of little servers and let you consolidate and drive capacity to make sure you're using as much as you could but it was built just for one server. They did extensions to it and said, "Now we can build a data centre", and that's great but it's not highly optimised.
And while the big numbers from VMware says 90 percent of the enterprise is virtualised, they are running at 25 percent utilisation, that's the dirty secret. So while they are virtualised, they are not meeting the needs of the utilisation that they have because the cost of administration and access to those systems are still very difficult.
Cloud becomes a self service model on top of that that drives utilisation up. On average, companies can achieve 70-80 percent utilisation of their systems because now they have created a model that doesn't require a lot of management, they become more agile. Companies that are virtualised, the next step is to get into the cloud.
I think everyone stands to benefit from the cloud; it's about finding the right pockets where it makes sense.
Any last words of advice?
I think the cloud represents an opportunity, and that anyone, whether you're in Asia Pacific or the rest of the world should come at it with an open mind. It's not necessarily for everybody but it's about having the right plan, identifying the opportunities and being open to what it can provide you. Companies see a lot of benefit in moving to this model, it's going to happen, so you might as well start learning now.
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